5 Things @TCUSchieffer: How Podcasting is Shaping Today’s Stories

A group of students work on recording a podcast inside a TCU classroom.

Students in FTDM 42101: Podcasting in the fall of 2022 using recording equipment students can check out from the FTDM department.

While not a new form of digital media, podcasting has introduced a new way to easily communicate with large audiences. Podcasting is an opportunity that any Schieffer College student can take advantage of. We spoke with Jean Marie Brown, M.S., from Journalism and Charity Robinson, M.A., and Tricia Jenkins, Ph.D., from Film, Television and Digital Media about the future of podcasting and access to the medium. Here are five things to know about podcasting and creating your podcasts at Schieffer College:

1. Podcasting is an excellent way to showcase storytelling skills.

Podcasting can be used across a variety of disciplines. In Journalism, Brown describes how podcasts “are an expansion of journalism and a wonderful storytelling tool. Because many journalists record their interviews, podcasts can be an offshoot of a reporting assignment, particularly if a reporter is doing an extended interview. Podcasting allows people to tell their story directly; hearing the cadence of a voice can enrich a story.”

Students can use podcasts to enhance their storytelling and include them in their portfolios. Jenkins explains, “podcasting lets you tell the stories that are unique to you, to find out about topics that you are curious and passionate about, and a great way to hone your interviewing skills. It’s also a great way to build a professional reel to show potential employers about what you can do in media formats.”

2. Podcasting is accessible and relatively cheap.

Jenkins describes her experience working on Worldwide: The Unchosen Church during the summer with Robinson. “Podcasting is still a field that is open to amateurs. And the best news? They are cheap to make and don’t require a big crew! Charity and I made a podcast this summer, and it was just the two of us. The cost per month was just $37 – and that included our hosting fees, our editing/transcription services and our musical licensing subscription. You can’t make and distribute many forms of narrative media for that amount of money!”

Apple Podcasts landing page for Worldwide: The Unchosen Churchby Tricia Jenkins.

Apple Podcasts landing page for Worldwide: The Unchosen Church
by Tricia Jenkins.

3. Podcasting is popular.

According to Robinson, “podcasting is a burgeoning industry that has seen consistent growth in recent years, particularly with listeners in the 18-34 age demographic. Aside from its growth in popularity, the emergence of podcasting into the mainstream media makes it a viable opportunity for students to consider as a career, post-graduation.”

4. Schieffer College students are using podcasting to tell their unique TCU stories.

Podcast art for "When TCU Went Home"

Podcast cover art for TCU 360’s “When TCU Went Home.”

Students in Brown’s spring 2021 JOUR 30204: Reporting course produced When TCU Went Home: Revisiting the Pandemic. A podcast produced during “the time, the university was operating under COVID restrictions, so there were limits on how and where they could report. The podcast allowed them to work on their reporting skills and audio editing while building a record of how TCU responded to the pandemic. I wanted them to talk with people while the memories were still fresh.”

Listen to part one of When TCU Went Home: Revisiting the Pandemic.

5. Schieffer College and TCU have various resources for faculty, staff and students interested in learning about podcasting.

Students interested in podcasting can take FTDM 42101: Podcasting, open to all majors. Robinson describes the course: “students are introduced to this emerging medium through guided listening and analysis as well as a semester-long podcast production project. Students will finish the course with a greater understanding of the industry, as well as the skills to write, record, edit and distribute their own podcast.”

Moudy South hosts a new digital media lab and a sound booth in the newsroom that students, faculty and staff can use to record and edit their work. FTDM now has a number of production consoles students can use in class and checkout from the department. Additionally, The Center for Digital Expression also offers a variety of classes on podcasting and has access to subscriptions and software available.

Learn more about faculty-produced podcasts ABC Story Sisters, You, Me & Mike and Worldwide: The Unchosen Church. All three podcasts are available on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.